Born in Moscow, Olga Rubtsova learned to play chess at age fifteen. Only three years later, she won her first U.S.S.R. Women’s Chess Championship, a feat she would repeat in 1931, 1937, and 1949. In 1950, Rubtsova earned the titles of both International Master and Woman International Master. She reigned as Women’s World Chess Champion from 1956-1958 and played first board for the Soviet team that won the first Women’s Chess Olympiad in 1957.
The only player to become World Champion in both over-the-board and correspondence chess, Rubtsova won the first Ladies Correspondence Chess Championship in 1972, which earned her the title of Correspondence Chess International Master. In 1976, she gained the title of Woman Grandmaster.